3 Tips to Prevent iPhone Overheating & Temperature Warnings

Jul 22, 2014 - 36 Comments

iPhone Temperature warning, needs to cool down

Have you ever seen the Temperature Warning on the iPhone before, saying “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it”, appearing seemingly out of nowhere? If you’ve ever left your iPhone outdoors on a hot sunny day for too long, you probably have. And if you haven’t seen that warning, let’s try to keep it that way by heeding some simple advice.

In case you’re thinking “who cares” and wondering why overheating matters, here’s why: Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures and heat can damage an iPhone and the internal battery (this applies to most electronics and Macs too, by the way). These things are expensive and a major part of many of our digital lives, so we want to keep them in the best shape possible for as long as possible, and avoiding heat is a good way to help an iPhone last.

To be clear, you should never see this temperature warning during any normal iPhone operating situation, it almost always requires some external heat source to cause. If you’re sitting indoors minding your own business and you see that warning, your iPhone may have some other problem and you might want to contact Apple Support to get it looked at.

1: Avoid Direct Sunlight on iPhone

Even on a medium temperature day, leaving an iPhone in direct sunlight can cause the device to quickly overheat, so you’ll want to avoid leaving the device in direct sunlight. I’ve experienced the Temperature warning simply by leaving my iPhone screen-up on an outdoor table on a fairly moderate 75 degree afternoon, so it can happen even in moderate climates if the conditions and sunlight are right.

For what it’s worth, the black / slate colored iPhone models are particularly vulnerable to overheating in sunlight due to their coloration attracting the sun

2: Don’t Leave iPhone In a Hot Car

The interior of closed cars can get extremely hot – as in cookie baking hot – on sunny and warm summer days, so even if you use your iPhone as a dashboard navigational aid, don’t leave it in the vehicle if you plan on spending some time outside of the car. This includes leaving it on a car seat or in the cupholder while you’re running errands, either bring it with you or put it somewhere that it’s not going to be subjected to sun and the full brunt of a hot day.

3: Avoid Any High Heat Sources

This seems fairly obvious, right? But how many times have you just set your phone down somewhere new without thinking twice about it? I’ve had friends leave their iPhones on closed waffle irons and right in front of heating vents, each received the temperature warning (and an extremely hot-to-the-touch device, that’s really not good). So just be cautious about where you’re setting it down, particularly if you’re in an unfamiliar place.

Prevent iPhone from Overheating

Too late, I have the Temperature warning saying my iPhone needs to cool down, what should I do?

Remove it from the heat source right away and try to help cool it down. Whether that’s placing it on blasting AC vents in a car, putting it in front of an air fan, stuffing it in a refrigerator for 2 minutes, or whatever is reasonably safe and effective, just try to cool it down to a normal temperature to avoid any damage. Once it cools down and you can use the iPhone again, follow the aforementioned advice to keep it cool, and avoid situations where it could be operating in an abnormally warming environment.

iPhone temperature warning

Finally, keep in mind that some third party cases can make overheating happen faster, and can even make it worse, by preventing the iPhone from dissipating heat as it’s built to. Thus, if your iPhone is overheating and you have that warning screen, you may want to pull off the case to help it cool down quicker. You can always put it back on when it’s back to normal again.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. guillaume says:

    Hot french summer?

  2. glenn says:

    Charging the phone generates significant heat. Avoid needing to plug your phone in in the heat. Using the GPS with the phone plugged in to a 2.1 amp adapter in Arizona one summer got me a warning!

  3. Mike says:

    My iPhone used to turn off or get very hot in warm sunny weather while using GPS, listening to podcasts, and charging, all while in a suction-cup windshield mount. I started to run the defrost to try to cool it, but that takes away from the rest of the car’s AC. I got a Kenu vent mount instead and although the phone isn’t in my direct line of vision, the AC blows right on it and it stays cool; as a bonus for travel the mount is much smaller.

  4. Biplav says:

    When my phone get hot esp. While using personal hotspot I put my phone beside aircon to make it back to normal tempreture

  5. Tim Cock says:

    i’ve experienced this situation yesterday

  6. Bela says:


    Do not put in fridge, temperature will drop to fast and can cause micro fracture on the logic board. You want to cool off slowly to avoid such a thing.

    Here is what is OK to do:

    Put it front of fan, let it blow the hot surface air of constantly. This way you will cool the phone off little by little.

    some advice:
    – avoid black cases
    – do not leave it front of the window on direct sunlight

    -if you feel the phone warming up as you use, you can turn off bluetooth and wireless to make it use less power -> less heat generated.

  7. Bobbi says:

    I suggest immediately pick out your iphone from the place where it’s getting exposed to heat and immediately turn it off and place it in a shaded place , once you feel your iphone has recovered , then turn it on again, it’s going to normally functioning again , please don’t put it in fridge to cool it down , you can end up with a blast

  8. Jen says:

    Just get a thermally protected “Salt Cases” cover. They block the heat with their NASA certified cases. It worked for me…

  9. Zahoor Ahmad says:

    hey guys i am facing this problem while my battery is drain too what should i do any help???

  10. Kara says:

    So I live in Alaska and have been getting this warning about my phone needing to cool down at 25 degrees. It’s really not too hot and there is no way it is overheating. Anyone else have this issue or ideas on fixing it?

    • Judyr says:

      I was outside walking in 23F for 1 1/2 hours and got that warning that iPhone 5s had to cool down. How is that possible? Phone was exposed to cold air. Did that cause problem?

  11. Bob says:

    23 degrees and got overheating msg. Turned off, restarted and no problem.

  12. Roy says:

    Standing on a construction site and it is minus 22. I got the temperature warning. Let the phone cool down….can it get any colder

  13. Bob says:

    Same as Roy! Outside plowing snow on -13C day. Phone in outside pocket of coat, listening to music and got the message that it needed to cool down. Really??

  14. michael says:

    Out walking today–it was 20 degrees F. Both my wife and got this warning on our iPhones (a 5S and 5). Both phones were cold, not hot. My phone was using the GPS (MapmyRun) but hers was not. We have had this happen before.

  15. Tom says:

    I left mine in the car at 5 degrees for 90 minutes. Said it was too hot and needed to cool down. What would cause this? Should I be worried?

  16. Jerry says:

    I was emptying the hopper after I was done salting last night and it was 7° with a -10° windchill and got that message. Couldn’t use the flashlight to see how empty the hopper was. Good thing the shop had an old fashioned flashlight.

  17. Nikki says:

    Its 8* out and my husband left his Iphone 5 in his truck for an hour and he got this message twice. Im calling Apple, his is still under warranty

  18. Aaron says:

    I experienced this today but the phone was ice cold..?? was in phone holder ?? After I finshed clearing snow..

  19. Hunter says:

    I’ve had my iPhone 5 up to 106.7 and never got a to hot warning.

  20. Bee says:

    Hi guys

    Can someone help me? I was in the sun today and went inside to put my baby to sleep not for long though, and came back outside and my phone was off, I presume the warning note came on and then it obviously just turned off on its own and now several hours later it won’t turn back on or charge nothing. please help.

    • Carolene says:

      Same thing just happened to me, did you get it figured out, mine dead as a door ail!

      • Jordan says:

        i was taking a nap and had my phone under the pillow. it must have shown the over heating message and it turned off. Will not tun back on even though it is cooled down. please someone help me.

  21. Optimal says:

    What about freezing ? Subzero temps could lead to the same situation.. Optimal Case is due to handle these issues on selected Apple smartphone models.

  22. Mano says:

    I don’t knw Whts the problem my iPhone 5 is heating so badly even when not in use and I’m unable to even hold it for a min and even my sound is been reduced …
    Was it a right choice to buy such an expensive mobile

  23. Dacosta says:

    my iPhone hot and got the temperature msg and I left to cool down and as I switch on and still got hot. want to knw using wrong charger can cause that?

  24. sammy says:

    my phone just warns temperature too high then it shuts down…what do i do

  25. Kali sawyer says:

    My iPhone 5c over heats when Im on Skype, oovoo or playing a game y does it do that’s for I need answers

  26. Tanmoy says:

    I use FaceTime video call frequently.Is it problem for iPhone 4s?because suddenly one day in the screen displayed overheating problem.

  27. Jesse says:

    Dropped my iphone4s into the lake..got it dry(I think) turns on n works for about 5 mins then the temp deal what do I do?

  28. sarchie gonzales says:

    grab a srew, open the device, remove battery ,leave device for a momment and the put it back your battery and let the charger turn on your device. and you can use your device again! :)

    • apex says:

      I got this warning last evening, immediately turned it off, but switching it on after an hour later after cooling did not help either!!! The phone runs for a minute and gives the warning sign again. I have been trying to turn it off and on since last 24 hours only to see the process get repeated. What am I to do??

  29. apex says:

    I got this warning last evening, immediately turned it off, but switching it on after an hour later after cooling did not help either!!! The phone runs for a minute and gives the warning sign again. I have been trying to turn it off and on since last 24 hours only to the process get repeated. What am I to do??

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